The Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the Massachusetts public defender agency, is seeking a Litigation Support Attorney for the Children and Family Law Division (CAFL). The Litigation Support Attorney will be responsible for drafting, collecting, organizing, disseminating, and training on model legal motions, researching memoranda on legal and clinical topics, and other materials to improve the advocacy of CAFL trial panel attorneys, appellate panel attorneys, staff attorneys, and social workers. This position will play a vital role in the support of trial and appellate advocacy for CPCS’ clients in family regulation/child welfare cases.
We fight for equal justice and human dignity by supporting our clients in achieving their legal and life goals. We zealously advocate for the rights of individuals and promote just public policy to protect the rights of all.
Courage • Accountability • Respect • Excellence
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION MISSION STATEMENT
CPCS is committed to protecting the fundamental constitutional and human rights of our assigned clients through zealous advocacy, community-oriented defense, and the fullness of excellent legal representation. We are dedicated to building and maintaining strong professional relationships, while striving to accept, listen to and respect the diverse circumstances of each client, as we dedicate ourselves to meeting their individual needs. It is our CPCS mission to achieve these goals, and in furtherance thereof, we embrace and endorse diversity, equity and inclusion as our core values as we maintain a steadfast commitment to: (1) Ensure that CPCS management and staff members represent a broad range of human differences and experience; (2) Provide a work climate that is respectful and supports success; and (3) Promote the dignity and well-being of all staff members. CPCS leadership is responsible for ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion. The ability to achieve these goals with any level of certainty is ultimately the responsibility of each member of the CPCS community.
CPCS is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for providing an attorney when the state or federal constitution or a state statute requires the appointment of an attorney for a person who cannot afford to retain one. The agency provides representation in criminal, delinquency, youthful offender, family regulation, guardianship, mental health, sexually dangerous person, and sex offender registry cases, as well as in appeals and post-conviction and post-judgment proceedings related to those matters.
The clients we represent are diverse across every context imaginable and bring many unique cultural dimensions to the matters we address. This reality creates a critical need for CPCS staff to be culturally competent and able to work well with people of different races, ethnicities, genders and/or sexual orientation identities, abilities, and limited English proficiency, among other protected characteristics.
The Children and Family Law Division provides children, young adults, and indigent parents zealous legal representation in a range of civil matters involving families. These include care and protection (child neglect and abuse cases) cases; termination of parental rights cases; child requiring assistance matters, and guardianship-of-a-minor cases. Our multidisciplinary legal teams defend families against unwarranted governmental interference and protect the constitutional and statutory rights of their clients. CAFL provides leadership, training, and support to staff members and private attorneys throughout Massachusetts.
CAFL’s client-directed legal advocacy plays a critical role in cases involving families. CAFL staff and private attorneys protect the rights of parents and children to remain together whenever possible and their right to be reunited quickly when children are removed from their homes. Our legal teams provide clients a voice and work to ensure that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and other agencies provide children, young adults, and parents the support and services they need and to which they are entitled under the law. For a parent involved in a C&P case, having a skilled CAFL attorney may mean the difference between the family’s reunification and the termination of parental rights. For a teenager who is the subject of a truancy case, CAFL’s advocacy may secure the special education services that enable the client to succeed in school and avoid being placed in a foster home or in congregate care. For siblings who are at risk of being separated, CAFL’s legal team will fight to ensure that they can stay together.
The Litigation Support Attorney is responsible for drafting, collecting, organizing, disseminating, and training on model legal motions, researching memoranda on legal and clinical topics and other materials to improve the advocacy of trial panel attorneys, appellate panel attorneys, staff attorneys, and social workers. This position will report to the Director of the CAFL Appellate Panel Support Unit (APSU) and will also work closely with the Director of the CAFL Trial Panel Support Unit (TPSU) and staff from both Units.
Duties of the CAFL Litigation Support Attorney include, but at not limited to:
- Drafting model motions, supporting memoranda, and other legal and clinical research memoranda;
- Conducting legal and clinical research on new and existing legal trial and appellate subjects;
- Writing, editing, and distributing legal, clinical, and other resources to CAFL staff and private practitioners;
- Determining the need for other resources, including model motions and written guidance needed for current and future editions of Practitioner’s Guide to State Intervention in the Family (2nd ed. 2023);
- Assessing, collecting, and organizing current model motions, research, and other resources;
- Creating a “bank,” “library,” or other system for storing, organizing, and disseminating resources;
- Designing and delivering training workshops for staff and private panel attorneys regarding motion practice and resources available;
- Collaborating with private counsel and staff, and supervising legal and other interns, on projects related to these functions;
- Assisting the CAFL Trial Panel Support Unit, the CAFL Appellate Panel Support Unit, and CAFL Training in other training events as needed;
- Keeping up with new opinions on family regulation/child welfare law and procedure issued by the Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts Appeals Court, and United States Supreme Court;
- May maintain a small caseload of child welfare trial and/or appellate clients; and,
- Other duties as assigned.